Thanks to the generosity and vision of the late John Drescher, Santa Monica College is the home to a computerized planetarium theater. At its heart is the Evans & Sutherland Digistar II planetarium projector, which was the first of its kind on the West Coast. Using digital technology, audiences can fly beyond the solar system and soar among the stars. We can transport you across our galaxy to the limits of spacetime.
Planetarium this week
New free, live, virtual public shows!
Watch this space for more information
SPECIAL NOTE: WEATHER LOOKS GOOD, AND WE DO INTEND TO PRESENT OUR ON-CAMPUS OBSERVING EVENT THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 27TH at 8:00pm.
We will be setting up multiple telescopes on the roof level of parking structure 3. Structure 3 is entered from Pico at 17th, bearing LEFT in the driveway split to head into the "underground" section. All levels have elevator/stair access at the northeast (near left corner as you enter the structure) corner. See Campus Map for location:
PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE CARS ALL THE WAY UP TO THE ROOF - ELEVATOR/STAIRS ON THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF EACH FLOOR WILL TAKE YOU TO THE ROOF.
This will be our first on-campus program since COVID-19 shut us down - we have decided to make it free of charge. We will STILL be presenting the 7:00 PM NIght Sky program on Zoom, and we will be attempting to be online and sharing screens on Zoom from the roof - but this is going to be an experiment done live. We may or may not have enough bandwidth available from the top of Parking structure 3, our observing location. To repeat, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to present a usable Zoom program from the observing event, or that we or you will have a usable signal to view the 7:00 Night Sky show from the roof. We will be assisted by members of the SMC Astronomy Club, whose volunteers are generously donating their time - please let them know you appreciate them if you join us!
We also do not know how many people might show up - bear with us if we get a large crowd. Again, this is a free, experimental program, and we have limited resources.
A personal note from your lecturer: I'm in my late sixties now, and have some family members who are even older, with significant respiratory risk. I need to protect them. For this reason, I am going to ask those who attend to please don a mask when close to the telescopes - say within fifteen feet or so - even though we will be outdoors. This will allow me to remain unmasked worry-free so I can be more easily heard by those of you waiting in line. This is purely a courtesy and a favor to me, and I have no way to enforce this. I will not stop the program if someone refuses. But I might decide to mask up myself, and I think this would make it harder for people to hear my descriptions of what we are trying to observe. The choice is yours. Sincerely, Jim Mahon
Invitation links to the live online events are generally posted the Thursday before. These programs are only available LIVE on Friday evenings, and on the occasional Matinee dates, normally Sundays. Clicking on the Zoom links at other times will not work.
Please scroll down beyond the calendar for notes on upcoming 8 p.m. programs
We also look forward to the expanded capabilities of the new planetarium SMC is building for opening in Fall 2024.
Senior Planetarium Lecturer
Upcoming Planetarium ShowsSee All
Weekly Night Sky Show
The Night Sky programs will last roughly 30 - 40 minutes, followed by a short question and answer period where guests can type questions into a chat box and we will answer as many questions as possible. There will be a short intermission at approximately 7:50 p.m. prior to the start of the Feature program at 8 p.m.
Feature Programs, January
Note that all 8 p.m. feature programs are preceded by the 7 p.m. “Night Sky” program described above.
Currently all presentations are online ONLY, with the exception of the 8:00 pm January 27th program.
January 6th: JWST One Year After Launch
January 13th: Our Star Ramps Towards Maximum
January 20th: NASA COmmercial Crew/Cargo and the Twilight of ISS
January 27th: Special Observing Event On Campus
Location of Planetarium (Currently closed)
Drescher Hall, 2nd Floor
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
The Drescher Planetarium is located in the middle of the second floor of Drescher Hall on the north side of the Santa Monica College campus. Drescher Hall is the three story brown building on the South East corner of Pico Blvd. and 17th Street. We are in Santa Monica, south of the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway and west of the 405 (San Diego) Freeway.